President Obama has taken even the threat of military action or aid to Ukraine off the table. In an interview with the local NBC affiliate in San Diego, Obama said “We are not going to be getting into military excursion in Ukraine. What we are going to do is mobilize all of our diplomatic resources to make sure that we’ve got a strong international correlation that sends a clear message.”
Whatever that message is, Putin doesn’t seem to care. He rattled his saber at Estonia, a NATO ally, today, stirred up separatism in Bosnia and signaled a change in Russian policy with Iran. Not bad for one day’s work.
Obama scoffs at the notion that Putin took the US military into his consideration at all, which may be correct: “His strategic decisions are no way based on whether he thought that we might go to war over this.”
“I think there’s a clear understanding that when it comes to our core interests or our NATO allies we can protect ourselves,” Obama said.
A careful, Clintonian parsing of that last line could cause some confusion, as it could mean that even if NATO allies are threatened — and one has been, as of today — the United States is ready to protect…itself.